Five Creative Theme Parties

The sky's the limit when it comes to themes, but take a look at these five creative theme parties to get the ideas flowing. Even though the best part of a party is spending time with people you care about, it's even more fun when there's a creative theme to the party. It helps to get people relaxed and provides a bit of fun in an often-dreary week. 

Evoke the glitz and glamour of Tinseltown and more than a century of movie magic with a Hollywood party. Choose dramatic colors such as black and red or silver and gold to set the mood. Games can include movie trivia or "Guess the Actor," where each guest chooses an identity and others must guess by asking yes or no questions. Serve dry snacks in upturned top hats and offer lots of popcorn in movie containers, as well as real or imitation champagne. For party favors, pass out sunglasses for everyone, as well as paper top hats and feather boas to make a room full of stars.

Decade Party
Whether you choose the sock-hopping -50s, the groovy -60s, the disco dancing -70s or the totally rad -80s, a decade party is a fun way to recall the best and worst of our past. It goes without saying that a mix of the decade's music hits is a must.

The 1950s. Think of poodle skirts, letterman's jackets, ponytails and record players, and create invitations and decorations accordingly. Recreating a soda shop in your home is easy with black, white and pink streamers and vinyl records hanging from the ceiling with fishing wire. Food can be traditional drive-in fare with burgers and fries and tall foamy sodas. Hold a hula-hoop contest and send happy guests home with Silly Putty party favors.

The 1960s. The vibrant colors of tie-dye and love beads should be your decorating guides, along with peace signs, smiley faces and flowers. If you can swing it, black lights add an especially groovy atmosphere. Mimic the hippie movement with a face-painting contest, and give everyone hippie names. Along with peace-sign cupcakes, serve hungry guests yummy finger foods that they can eat while lounging on large floor pillows. Choose peace-sign beaded necklaces as party favors.

The 1970s. All the sparkle of disco balls and the mystery of mood rings should come into play when decorating for a -70s party. An actual disco ball would be a really fun addition, but a strobe light and twinkling strands will help with moving and grooving. Play "Love Boat" or "Brady Bunch" trivia games and serve fondue. Pet rocks make the perfect party favor.

The 1980s. Preppy pastel colors and geometric shapes defined fashion and style in the 80s, and these should inspire your decorations. Consider a cassette-tape centerpiece accented with Rubik's Cubes as you serve up pizza, just like in all those -80s teen-angst movies. Set up a "Name those Lyrics" game with all the catchy TV sitcom jingles or play the -80s edition of Trivial Pursuit. Hand out jelly bracelets, mini Rubik's Cubes and Pop Rocks as favors.

Mardi Gras
Let loose and revel in the mystery, excitement and drama of a Mardi Gras party. Rich gold, purple, green and maroon balloons, streamers and gossamer make any room look like it came from New Orleans. Supply beads, boas, masks and hats for guests to get into the mood and keep the jazz music playing in the background. Serve up Cajun-themed food such as jambalayal. For activities, let guests decorate their own masks. Award the winner of every game with beads, and let everyone keep the costumes and decorations as favors.

It's casual, fun and friendly, and a Western BBQ may be just the thing you need to turn a regular summer cookout into a memorable theme party. Use hay bales, boots, rope, sheriff's badges and bandanas for decoration, and have some hats and bandanas on hand to pass out to guests as they arrive. Plan on some square dancing fun, or at least some country music hits playing as you serve up steak, burgers, chicken and other grilling favorites. Games can include roping contests, horseshoes, creating your own "brand" and a cowboy poetry contest. Send a bottle of gourmet barbecue sauce home as a tasty reminder of the festivities.

Just right to spice up a summer night or heat things up in the winter, a fiesta party can be as big or small as you want. Easy decorating with piñatas, sombreros, cactuses and chili peppers in bold red, yellow and green transform any home into a south-of-the-border party zone. Consider a taco bar, along with nachos and stuffed jalapenos and margaritas. Let guests make piñatas or just spend time breaking them or decorate sombreros to take home as party favors.

Other creative theme party ideas are:

  • Hawaiian luau
  • Sports (all or one in particular)
  • Casino night
  • Greek or Classical
  • Jungle Adventures
  • Masquerade
  • Patriotic
  • Pirate (even grownups like pirates!)
  • Stargazing
  • Under the Sea
  • Winter Wonderland
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